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Caroline, specialist engineer and project manager

After forging a career in the oil and gas industry in her native Brazil, Caroline transferred her skills to construction, when she joined Skanska via the return to work programme.

Caroline, a specialist in engineering and project management, took some time out from her career to raise her daughter and move to the UK. She was part of one of the first groups to experience the return to work scheme – a 12-week placement programme including mentoring and coaching that helps reintroduce skilled professionals to the workplace after a career break of two years or more. After completing the placement, she was offered a permanent role working on one of the UK’s largest rail infrastructure projects, HS2.

She said: “I liked Skanska’s philosophy of being sustainable, and I liked the idea of a short programme to enable me to get a taster before committing to the job full-time.”

The placement cohorts are offered mentoring and coaching to support their transition back into work. Caroline said: “We were given support and attended workshops where we were able to discuss how we felt about being back at work and get advice.”

Caroline’s valuable skills and experience were recognised by the project and she was quickly promoted from engineer to project manager. Her advice to anyone considering the programme who may be intimidated by the thought of returning to work after a break is clear. She said: “The one thing you have to remember is how you were before. Remember what you were capable of facing and achieving. Don’t let yourself feel you’re not able. It takes a little time to get there, but set your mind to it and you will."

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Last updated: 30/11/2017